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DevBlog: An update on military in Anno 1800

Today, we want to give you an update on the status of military gameplay and land-based combat in Anno 1800.

Last Fall, we kicked off the topic of military gameplay in Anno 1800 with two blogs here on the Union (The Art of War Part One and Two), where we examined the history of combat and its various incarnations in the series over the years. We also announced that we had decided to focus on a great city-building and economic experience, as well as on expanded and more in-depth naval combat, while not adding land-based combat to Anno 1800. However, as a result of the passionate community feedback to this announcement on the Anno Union, we promised that we would revisit this decision and to explore possible ways to add land-based combat.

Since then, we spent a lot of time discussing your reactions while also inviting Anno veterans from the Union to the studio to discuss the military aspects of the Anno series. Based on the extensive feedback from our communities, we worked on possible game design approaches that would allow us to add land-based combat that would meet the expectations of our fans, while not having a negative impact on the quality and scope of our other planned content and features.

Given the community feedback to Anno 2205, our main priority for 1800 is to deliver a great city-building game that offers fans all the gameplay depth and replayability that they have come to expect from the Anno brand over the past 20 years. At the same time, we also need to ensure that everything that is added to the game meets the high quality standards that we as a development team pride ourselves on. Sadly, none of the possible scenarios and game designs we have worked on over the past months would meet the quality bar we are aiming for without negatively affecting other features. At the same time, cutting back on the gameplay depth of the core economic aspects of Anno in favor of a military system that we know many of our players do not use would be a disservice to our mission to deliver a stand-out city-building game. Therefore, as a team we have decided to stick to our initial plan of focusing on improved naval combat, and will not add land-based combat to Anno 1800 for its launch.

We understand that this is not what some of you in the community were hoping for, but with the Anno Union, we are big believers in transparency and being upfront with our players, even when delivering news that we know some of you will find disappointing. We look forward to sharing much more information about all aspects of Anno 1800, including the improved naval combat and how island take-overs will work, with you all in the coming months, as we get closer to the game’s release.

The Anno 1800 Team




  1. a audukas March 13, 2024

    I really miss a better military mode in this game. Graphics, mechanics, balance, maps and their size – everything fits and I like it. I have all the DLC bought and I would love to have the serious military DLC as well, then this game would be perfect. I haven’t played for half a year now, and only for this reason.

  2. p person101_01 January 4, 2024

    Wow should have looked up reviews before buying me being a dev myself this is unexceptable. I have played this since 1701 in 2007 and that’s was best part of this game to annihilate your opponent and takes way to long to build up who wants to spend hours just building the city you build to take over like risk or any other war game you devs need to look at yourselves and re-evaluate what ppl keep saying on the internet the community wants it and you have lost another fan today.

  3. k koshyg15 March 17, 2020

    Please add land based combat to the game, the game is so close to being the perfect RTS don’t let this chance got to waste. Please Please add land based combat to the game, I’m begging you.

  4. v vaiosue July 25, 2019

    In the name of all that is good. Please add transports and land units. Maybe create like a town center building that can progress into a fortress that you have to captured to take an island. I absolutely adore this game but it NEEDS land combat. Capturing by destroying the harbor with ships just feels so empty and anti-climactic. Plus I can’t even bombard the coastline? Would 100% be willing to pay $30 to even $40 for this as a DLC. This game is so close to the greatest RTS I have ever played.

  5. a avatart0ph June 1, 2019

    I want to be able to invade another player’s land via land invasion after finishing off their harbour. Wouldn’t it be too easy if i was using the Navy only? I just need to know where their main harbour area and target that..

    • a avatart0ph June 1, 2019

      I am willing to pay for it as DLC

      • a audukas March 13, 2024

        In 2024, I am still waiting 🙂

  6. L Liljagare April 13, 2019

    Land combat is the one thing this series could always have kept improving on, it’s the last lacking gem for the game play. A shame it won’t be in.

    • a avatart0ph June 1, 2019

      Agree. How can we push for this.

  7. g grcorleone February 9, 2019

    I think with land-based combat will be an great added value for the game(play). I played every anno serie and downloaded the last anno (2205), becasue it was not worth the money for me. I could do just play SimCity or City skylines as well. The combination of building and control your own city’s and fight other characters was for me the most fun part in the games. I don’t care how long the development will take, but what the quality of the game will be, like GTA 5.

    I will see if I have to download again or it’s worth buying.


    • g grcorleone February 9, 2019

      Although the gameplay of navy combat seems awesome, hope it’s worth my money this time 🙂

  8. H HannesDS April 20, 2018

    Nice addition.

    I would like to see a blog about police, maybe upgradable (expandable) police stations. Or maybe the prison island can help you (with extra forces) during a riot?

    But please no missions you need to search people on the island, or considering another system?

    • H HannesDS April 20, 2018

      oops, wrong blog

      its ment for 19 April

  9. S Sir_Njall April 18, 2018

    Have you guys looked at more abstracted land combat?

    The way I see it is this way:
    Islands are for more slow moving action. I love it for city building, not so much for slow army management.
    Oceans are for fast action, great for naval action. Love it.

    What if we create another screen that says there are 12 units defending this island and 25 units attacking, at this rate the island can hold out for ~ 40 min!?

    This would completely eliminate the tediousness of controlling individual units or moving camps around. It would also enable the island to be optimized for building placement.
    That is, strictly speaking the soldier animations don’t have to “drive the simulation”, you could drive the results of the combat mostly from force ratios and combat modifiers (i.e. defence is OP?).
    Animations are mostly for eye candy.

    If you needed to be quick and dirty we don’t technically need the animations for it, but it would be super cool to see the units skirmishing along the island.

    Penalties for defender include reduced productivity.

    Guerilla tactics could be a thing? Pirates are here reducing our productivity by 15%. Build a garrison to protect island or deal with the pirates in other manner.

    Additionally, if you achieve naval dominance you could severely hurt an invasion army by cutting their supply line?

    What I am thinking is that you can tweak the numbers such that attacking cities is hard, like really requires preparation, while attacking outliers is easier.

    Furthermore, if we really want to go there, we could have the defensive building placement matter somewhat.

    Thanks for reading and talking about this in dev diaries. All I want to say is that the idea of warfare adds stakes to the game. There has to be a “risk” factor for me. Something to keep me on my toes a little bit. When there is no risk, it sort of takes something away that compromises the gameplay. The challenge lies in avoiding making the supposed risk something that is really just tedious, whatever that means.

  10. K Kevin_Ar182 April 17, 2018

    From the start, Anno has been a game that combines land RST combat with city building. Remove land combat and it is no longer an ANNO game.

  11. T ThePhantasmJCH April 16, 2018

    I’m perfectly fine with this decision. The land combat has always been a bit slow. I tolerated it in 2070 because the aircraft was a lot less clunky than troops.

    As long as there is a mechanism for taking over other players islands, I’m content. The 1404 Venice option of buying out islands was fine.

  12. B Boldzmann April 14, 2018

    I like to develop all the sides of Anno. The presence of military infantry means a lot to me. I am also ready to buy a military DLC with infantry.

  13. W W0ke. April 14, 2018

    Noooo. My hopes were up REALLY high for this. I’m immensely disappointed. I don’t care about bugs or glitches or partial Gameplay. Just give us something like 1701. If it won’t be in the main game, fine, but please consider making it dlc number one. I’d pay 300 dollars for a modern Anno 1701 and this is almost that. But we need land combat. And walls. What about the lodge from 1701? I really loved that feature. It could make a great supplement.

  14. G Geextha April 14, 2018

    I have played each any game of the anno series and can accept your decision to set focus on production chains, naval combat and City Building elements.
    In the other hand i would be happy if you see a possibility to add land combat after releasing the Game as many other commentators written in their posts.

  15. B Basterius April 14, 2018

    A great decision which I support for the full 100%. You could not make me happier (well actually you could, by removing war in total :)).

  16. C ClemensX April 14, 2018

    Althoug I never realy focused on combat in my games exept for defense, I alwais liked planing out a island takover when I do went on the offencive. Blokking the harbor and distroying the key production chains on land to make hem weak.
    So I am diappointed that te land based combat wil not be included. Never the less I am glad you are being opfront and honest about it. I Understand that there are no unlimited resourses avadible for you to make this game. And I much rather have indepth systems than 1 more endjoyable feature and flat naval combat

  17. R Ristonhawk April 14, 2018

    I’m supportive of the decision. I didn’t find the land combat particularly core to my experience. I’m hoping in lieu of land combat maybe we’ll get more vavried and in depth naval combat. Upgradable? Leveling? Weapon/armor/auxiliary slots? ‘Hero’ Ships? ‘Experimental’ Ironclad?

    Certainly plenty to build off of 2205.

  18. g guest-9UKKxdQU April 14, 2018

    “I disagree with the decision, as land base combat is an essential part of any historical game. I understand why you had to drop it, but I would hope you add it later on to the game as a DLC , as it adds more to the game then what you believe so. I believe in the anno team as the games you deliver are quite exceptional (I have not played anno 2205)”

    This. Anno 1701 and 1404 (venise) were amazing, after that all the Anno were just medium.
    Add land-based combat, Anno 1800 needs it.

    • W W0ke. April 14, 2018

      Can’t agree more. The game doesn’t feel complete without annihilating your friends at the end. Nukes in 2070 were a wonderful deterrence and then getting to launch them at the end just for kicks really gave us a solid ending. I was really hoping war would be given a higher priority. I like Anno because it’s the city building, RTS hybrid. Such a shame to see it turn on what made it once so great.

      • S Swimming-Paul April 16, 2018

        This is ridiculousity at its finest. I understand that Anno is a complex game and that we all like different aspects from the same game, but to say that the game doesn´t feel complete without annihilating your friends with nukes is simply delusional. Have you really played Anno at all?

        Go get yourself a copy of Command & Conquer.

  19. b banan1996.1996 April 13, 2018

    I’m grateful you decided to focus on the economy. It always was the core element of Anno, I don’t want it to be worse just to include land-based combat.
    Anyways, winning wars was always based on that who has better economy and bigger population. Buying out enemies or defeating them in war always required the same thing: strong economy.
    And you said that land-based combat won’t be in the launch version so I guess you might add it to the game later via some DLCs – I think it would still satisfy those war-loving people.
    Keep in mind – there are many people who would agree with your decision!

  20. M MMateos19 April 13, 2018

    I understand that point of view. It would be really interesting to see land combat, but if for this time it can’t be I hope in the future Anno games (I hope there will be more) something like that could be implemented. Mayble like an option where you get the permits from the goverment to train troops? Let’s wait for what you will prepare for us in the future 🙂

  21. S Swimming-Paul April 13, 2018

    I support your decission 100% and I´m very happy to know that you´re going to be focusing in other aspects of the game.
    Keep the amazing work guys!

    • U Ubi-O5 April 13, 2018

      Thanks Paul, we have a few exciting plans for the next weeks, but it was important for us to let you and other fans know about the decision.

      Still shuffling around what the topics are going to be, so no definite info for now. 🙂

  22. s sbeiti April 13, 2018

    I disagree with the decision, as land base combat is an essential part of any historical game. I understand why you had to drop it, but I would hope you add it later on to the game as a DLC , as it adds more to the game then what you believe so. I believe in the anno team as the games you deliver are quite exceptional (I have not played anno 2205).

    • B Basterius April 14, 2018

      Then perhaps it is good to know that Anno is not an “historical game” 🙂

      • s sbeiti April 15, 2018

        technically it is and what I like about this game is that it combines military and city building and it does it perfectly. The 1701 land combat system was probably the best out of all, while the city building aspect has been consistently improving.


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